The bed of forlorn hope

Today I did something I should have done months ago. I repotted some scented geraniums I’ve carefully nursed through a couple of winters. Why did it take me so long? I knew it had to be done: I love these plants. I like their flowers and their perfume that they release as you brush by them. Some are lemon scented, some of them liquorice.

I like their tenacity and grit: they survive much neglect. A good thing as Katetastic and I bought some from a specialist nursery in the Weald and I couldn’t find it again on my own.

What held me back? I could just have thrown them in the compost bin, out of sight out of mind. It would have been a clean end for them. Instead they limped along looking accusingly at me until eventually the manky shriveled leaves outnumbered the healthy ones. Time for action.

(I know what stopped me. It was the thought of carrying the massively heavy compost bags, because of course I must get the three for two bargain. I just couldn’t face it. Pitiful really. But that’s the way of things often. For me at least the small things trip me up. Note to self. Address the little things. I heard some advice on the radio about people with depression. It was: Make your bed. )

I bought the compost and got it home -it took all of 35 minutes and approached those poor pot bound plants. Mmm how to do this? The aforesaid Kate my horticultural consultant is off having Alpine fun. (Hope that doesn’t mean something dodgy. )

They were so pot bound it took a knife and a lot of tugging to release them from their pots. They didn’t take to the change easily, nor give up their old homes without a struggle. With one of them I had to choose between the pot and the plant. No contest – choose the living thing. Smash the pot.

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So into their nice new pots with room to grow and not have their roots circling frustrated round the contours of the container. Water. Feed. Fingers crossed.

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But some were too far gone. They were leggy. Now that’s a nice thing in a teenager or a dog but in plants, no. Looking about me I saw this. Sorry about all the horse poo pics.

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I remember planting some dahlia tubers which promised blowsy colour like saucy seaside postcards. Where are they now?

I cut reluctant growers no slack, so I decided the remaining ailing plants who have suffered long enough in restrictive pots can enjoy a summer of freedom. The dahlia tubers must have shrunk away from my trowel, they were nowhere to be found. So this is my bed of flowers of the Forlorn Hope. Into it have gone all the odds and ends lurking in corners of my garden. It’s not planned. It’s not pretty. They will do or die. But I think at least they’ll be ok for taking cuttings from. Everything is metaphor. I’ll keep you posted.

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